Amsterdam, Holland
Amsterdam, HollandiStock

The chief rabbi of the Netherlands has slammed an order that forces Dutch universities to reveal ties to Israel and Jewish institutions, saying it “reeks of antisemitism,” the Jewish Chronicle reported.

The move came about after a pro-Palestinian advocacy group, The Rights Forum, placed a freedom of information request to compel universities to disclose “institutional ties with Israel universities, institutions and businesses and with organizations that propagate support for the State of Israel.”

Reportedly the list of institutions includes national and international Jewish community organizations such as the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands, the Anti-Defamation League and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

The Rights Forum also put in freedom of information requests to force universities to reveal ties to Israeli international defence and electronics company Elbit, B’nai Brith and Christians for Israel.

“The clear inference is that some shadowy Zionist/Jewish cabal is operating in the Dutch university system. This reeks of antisemitism, but it comes as no surprise to me given this group’s reputation,” Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands Binyomim Jacobs told the Chronicle.

Rabbi Jacobs said the most concerning aspect was the “number of universities that were so compliant with such a transparently antisemitic request.”

“It reminds us that most mayors cooperated during the occupation to pass on the names of their Jewish citizens to the Germans,” he said.

President of the Conference of European Rabbis Pinchas Goldschmidt also harshly criticized the move, urging Dutch universities to use “all available means to resist their attempt to stigmatize Jews.”

The Rights Forum was started in 2009 by former Dutch Prime Minister Dries Van Agt. On its website, it bills itself as a “high-level network of former ministers and professors of international law who have joined forces to promote a just and durable solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.”

Agt, who was prime minister from 1977 to 1982, has been accused of antisemitism on multiple occasions, including earlier this year for accusing Jews of poisoning Arabs.

In 2017, Agt was accused by the umbrella group representing Dutch Jewry of antisemitism after he said that the Dutch Labor party “is good for the Palestinians despite the strong Jewish lobby” in its ranks.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)